Ef (Cyrillic)
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Ef Cyrillic
Cyrillic letter Ef
Cyrillic letter Ef - uppercase and lowercase.svg
Phonetic usage:[f]
Numeric value:500
The Cyrillic script
Slavic letters
Non-Slavic letters
Archaic letters

Ef or Fe (? ?; italics: ? ?) is a Cyrillic letter, commonly representing the voiceless labiodental fricative /f/, like the pronunciation of ⟨f⟩ in "fill". The Cyrillic letter Ef is romanized as ⟨f⟩. In some languages it is known as Fe.


The Cyrillic letter Ef was derived from the Greek letter Phi (? ?). It merged with an eliminated letter Fita (?) in the Russian alphabet in 1918.

The name of Ef in the Early Cyrillic alphabet is (fr?t? or fr?t?), in later Church Slavonic and Russian form it became (fert).

In the Cyrillic numeral system, Ef has a value of 500.


The Slavic languages have almost no native words containing /f/. This sound did not exist in Proto-Indo-European (PIE). It arose in Greek and Latin from PIE *b? (which yielded Slavic /b/). In some instances in Latin, it represented historical th-fronting and derived from Proto-Indo-European *d?. In the Germanic languages, the f sound arose from PIE *p, which remained unchanged in Slavic. The letter ? is thus almost exclusively found in words of foreign origin, especially Greek (from ? and sometimes from ?), Latin, French, German, Dutch, English, and Turkic.

Example borrowings in Russian:

  • from Greek, "catastrophe" (from ?); , "Theodore" (from ?)
  • from Latin: , "federation"; , "effect"
  • from German: , "potato" (from Kartoffel); ?, "pound" (from Pfund)
  • from Dutch, "flag"

The few native Slavic words with this letter (in different languages) are examples of onomatopoeia (like Russian verbs , ? etc.) or reflect sporadic pronunciation shifts:

  • from /pv/: Serbian ?? 'to hope' (cf. Church Slavonic ? 'to hope')
  • from /xv/: Macedonian ?? '(he) understands' (cf. Church Slavonic ? 'to take, to catch'), Russian ?? 'bustard' (cf. Ukrainian ? 'bustard')
  • from /kv/: Russian ?? 'eagle-owl' (cf Ukrainian 'to cry')
  • from ? /x/: Russian toponym ? 'Fili' (from ?? 'sickly')

Slavic languages

Ef is the 21st letter of the Bulgarian alphabet; the 22nd letter of the Russian alphabet; 23rd letter of the Belarusian alphabet; the 25th letter of the Serbian and Ukrainian alphabet; and the 26th letter of the Macedonian alphabet. It represents the consonant /f/ unless it is before a palatalizing vowel, when it represents /f?/.

Related letters and other similar characters

Computing codes

Character information
Preview Ф ф
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1060 U+0424 1092 U+0444
UTF-8 208 164 D0 A4 209 132 D1 84
Numeric character reference Ф Ф ф ф
Named character reference Ф ф
KOI8-R and KOI8-U 230 E6 198 C6
Code page 855 171 AB 170 AA
Code page 866 148 94 228 E4
Windows-1251 212 D4 244 F4
ISO-8859-5 196 C4 228 E4
Macintosh Cyrillic 148 94 244 F4

External links

  • The dictionary definition of ? at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of ? at Wiktionary

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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